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Reading the Book of Revelation


Common responses to the book of Revelation throughout history have been “It’s too hard for me to understand!” or “It’s just a depressing book about doom and gloom.” In this course, you will explore the depth, beauty, and application of this early first-century book. Discover its literary characteristics, its original audience’s unique circumstances and its author’s purpose in writing to them. You will also explore how we can know that the book was meant to be understood by its readers so you can arrive at the heart of the book’s message and discover its application for your life today.

The class was developed in collaboration with Denver Seminary faculty.

  1. Identify Revelation’s literary style, understand its historical context, and use this knowledge to better understand the book.
  2. Explain John’s original purpose for writing the book of why it is relevant for modern-day readers.
  3. Explain how we can know the book of Revelation was meant to be understood by its original readers and how we can take steps to better understand it today.
  4. Describe the heart of Revelation’s message.
  5. Identify specific applications for the book of Revelation.
  • Great lectures!

    — Roy, United States (US)
  • Thank you for an exciting glimpse, synopsis of Revelation.

    — Johann, United States (US)
  • Revelation made simple.

    — Samuel, Nigeria
  • Amazing. I have lost my fear for the book and feel comfortable continuing in depth study of Revelation

    — Jane, South Africa
  • This course has provided excellent growth and reassurance for me, because I was affraid that I was the only one who was seeing that Revelation was not a coded message that was to be used to construct an end-times chart.

    — William, United States (US)
  • After years of studying, being taught lessons, dissecting verses, discussions, and every other tool available, THIS COURSE OPENED MY EYES AND MY MIND! I can truly say I UNDERSTAND THE BOOK OF REVELATION! I am thrilled. Even so, I do plan on following up by reading the commentaries the Dr. has suggested. THANK YOU, OBDU, for one of the best courses I’ve ever taken trying to figure out The Book of Revelation. I love your courses.  

    — Marcia, United States (US)
  • Better understanding of the book Revelation not all end of time  

    — Michelle, United States (US)
  • Learned about Revelation not just being about the end of time but God's new creation.  

    — Michelle, United States (US)
  • An outstanding presentation which stimulates deeper understanding of the book of Revelation.

    — Wendell, Australia
  • Just reading and listening is a joy to the Christian heart, and also guidance to the soul. As a bi-vocational pastor, I need the study for preparation of sermons, but I also need to listen to the presentation of the Gospel message by others, and also the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  

    — James, United States (US)
  • It was not as in depth as I thought it would be but it was thought provoking. Thank you.

    — Judith, United States (US)
  • Great work!

    — Erik, United States (US)
  • Very interesting article on Revelation, it has provided me with a different outlook of the Book.

    — Kevin, United States (US)
  • Gives me the confidence to read the book of Revelation through a lens of the true purpose of the chapter. Enjoyed the instructor

    — Don, United States (US)
  • Wonderful, uplifting course. Thank you so much

    — Sidney, United States (US)
  • I am very happy to be able to understand and read Revelation with hope and positive insight instead of being terrified of the symbolism in the book.

    — Suzanne helen, Australia
  • This course totally changed my thoughts about Revelation. I look forward to rereading it with a good commentary and reviewing the notes I took to get a clearer understanding of what it really is about. Thank you so much. My desire to remember it also pushed me to take quizes again till I got 100% which helps to cement things in my memory.

    — Loretta, United States (US)

    — Delbert, United States (US)
  • I thoroughly enjoyed this Course.

    — Aileen, Australia
  • Great Course. I would highly recommend it.

    — Sharon, United States (US)
  • This was a great course and gave me a new perspective on the Book of Revelation. I can hardly wait to study it more.

    — Sharon, United States (US)
  • I learned so much throughout this course. Once started I looked forward to my study time with pleasure. The lecturer was skilled at presenting the information in an easily understood format with clarity and repetition, and in an engaging manner. I feel energized to tackle more by taking this course and have ordered a couple of the books suggested for further study and am more aware of hymns to complete worship. Knowledge and motivation are a powerful package-Thank you.

    — Lauren, Canada
  • i learned a lot....

    — Edward, United States (US)
  • This gives a clear perspective on a book I have read the least of any in the Bible thinking it was primarily about future prophecy and unreadable to most. I can now reread Revelation with new understanding and perspective.

    — Karen, United States (US)
  • WONDERFUL!! Really helped in "knowing the purpose" of the book of Revelation.

    — Sandy, United States (US)
  • I truly gain and got enriched by the course. May the Lord continue to bless and guide all the staff of Our Daily Bread Ministries as they continue in serving Christ through this platform, amen.

    — Mela, Nigeria
  • I' been a Christian for 74 years--boy have I missed a lot of understanding about Revelation and the rest of the Bible--spent a lot of time focusing on things that don't really matter (because I looked at much of Scripture from my viewpoint.) Revelation is not about worrying about details, it's about worshiping the Lamb. Excellent teacher and presentation

    — Hobe, United States (US)
  • I have learned to look at Revelation in a completely different light.

    — Kathleen, United Kingdom (UK)
  • I have thoroughly enjoyed this course and from the results of some of the assessment questions I may need to take it again, however I feel that some of the members of my church could benefit from taking this course.

    — Deborah, United States (US)
  • Eye-opening, and refreshing perspective taught clearly.

    — Kathy, United States (US)
  • I enjoyed this class immensely. I learned a lot and it has stimulated me to further in-depth study. Thank you!

    — Philip, United States (US)
  • This course provides a good overview of what Revelation is about and will encourage further study of it.

    — Elaine, Canada
  • I am blessed and enriched by the contents of this course. Thank you.

    — Mela, Nigeria
  • I like the clear explanations about the purpose of the book and the description of the sections' purposes.

    — Doug, United States (US)
  • Great overview for a better perspective to all participants

    — Donald, United States (US)
  • A great course but should be Part 2 to complete the study of Revelations.

    — Nina, United States (US)
  • Very, very insightful!

    — James, United States (US)
  • Provided new perspectives on the book as a whole. It allowed me to expand my thought process and helped me focus on the main applications it was intended for.

    — Troy, Canada
  • An excellent course!

    — Russell, Canada
  • Very helpful! And it is so easy to understand! Thanks you to Dr. Mathewson.

    — Wai, Canada
  • It was a very good course, I liked it very much it made me think about things I didnt realize about Revelations before. I feel I will enjoy reading Revelations more now and in the future.

    — Michael, United States (US)
  • This course provided me with clarity and a better understanding about the Book of Revelation and why it was written. I can now continue to study Revelation with a strong foundation.

    — Nina, United States (US)
  • This was excellent in opening my eyes about Revelation. I'm going to re-read it with a new perspective.

    — Elisabeth, United States (US)
  • I really enjoyed this course... wish the same lecturer had a in depth course on Revelation.

    — Sue, Canada
  • The course was very interesting and the professor was very astute and made the lectures easy to understand.

    — Penny, United States (US)
  • This course has been very informative. I now look at Revelation in a new light and with less dread. Lectures were clear and well spoken. Quizzes covered the subject matter very well.

    — Terry, United States (US)
  • Awesome, I love all the lessons.

    — Helena, United States (US)
  • Dr Mathewson does an excellent job in diffusing myths about the book of Revelation. He gives an excellent overall analysis. I came away much more hopeful and with wonderful new insights.

    — Donna, Canada
  • The lectures are all very helpful. Not difficult to follow, informative, yet succinct. The content has provided a sound overview of Revelation and has clarified my understanding of what has long been a biblical book that I felt out of my depth with. Thank you Dr. Mathewson.

    — Richard, Australia
  • Excellent! I am glad I made this course my first one in your University. It was a great start. I am now eager to learn from others. Thank you!

    — Norine, United States (US)

Class Content

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Basic Level
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Class Details

  • 5 Lessons
  • 16 Activities
  • 6 Assessments
  • 10 Min Average
  • 3 Hrs Minimum
  • 0.85 CEUs
  • Class Award

Class Resources

Videos Audios Transcripts Discussion Questions

David Mathewson, PhD